First thing in the morning even before I get out of bed, I check my newsfeed on Facebook and then immediately open Instagram to see how many likes I got from my most recent pictures posted and to go like (double tap) all of your adorable pictures of your family. And I better hop over to Twitter to see if anyone said anything witty at 2 in the morning while the rest of the world was sleeping. Oh and I posted a blog post yesterday, I have to see how many readers I had (you know to determine if it was any good.) Oh look, now it's been 5 minutes, I wonder what I missed on Facebook... 30 minutes later (while still scrolling through the newsfeed or creeping). Put down phone.. "Ugh! There's nothing to do on this phone. I guess I will get out of bed (to move to the couch) and well, I could check my phone again."
Ok, is it just me or does that describe anyone else's morning? I have an extension to my hand and I'm ready for it to stop. To be put down. To NOT be the first thing that I do when I wake up in the morning. I am not only dealing with a distraction problem, I am struggling with people-pleasing-itis. I am more concerned about the number of likes for the cute picture on IG than I am for praying for my husband's day, for my children's hearts and for opportunities to share His Love with others.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his rightesousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
Just yesterday I was looking up something on my phone that I wanted to buy for my kids, when Kairi asked if they could make a craft and if I would make it with them. Yes, yes of course - but just a minute and by a minute I mean 5 minutes, ok honestly, it was probably at least 10 minutes. I was so wrapped up with looking at my phone - being distracted, but it was for a good reason - it was something that we are going to get to do together a lot. Um... except for I almost missed that moment of being present and being together right then to create a craft with them. I was too busy planning for a future time together. But sometimes we are so busy planning for the future (even if that means tomorrow), that we miss today.
Do children need to learn to wait patiently? Yes, of course they do. But that does not mean because Mommy wants to be selfish and lazy with her time. They should learn to wait, but we should also learn "now", not "in a minute".
I want my kids to remember me on the floor playing games with them, creating and playing with them. Not to remember me as a bystander on the couch watching them play and making sure they don't make too big of a mess. I also want my kids to see my hands free, hands that are ready to pick them up, to hug them, to play cards with them, and create crafts. Not hands with a phone attached.
Now don't get me wrong, I will still have my phone. One of my favorite things to do with my iPhone is to capture memories by taking pictures - but I need to stop trying to replace the memory with something else - "Stand still! Smile! Stop! NOW! SMILE!" Um, why would they want to smile when I am yelling at them. It's like I am screaming, "Look like you are having fun!" But in reality at that moment, I don't want them to have fun, I want to them to stop having fun, be obedient, and put a smile on their face. Why? Am I more concerned about what we will look like? You know for when I post the picture to Instagram. It has to be really cute to get those 15 likes.
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
Or am I concerned with pleasing God? Doing the things that bring Him glory: training my kids, nurturing them, building them up, loving them and creating memories with them. The memories that we may forget the details, even the next day because no pictures were taken, but at least we will remember the relationships created through those times together. At least I was present with my kids.
So for me, I really must stop the craziness. Look at my kids imitating me:
They know their mommy always has her phone with her. Well, I want to change that. I am going to make a basket where I keep my phone during the day. (I think I will let the girls help me and keep their "phones" there, too.) I will still check it, but maybe I will wait until naptime to have that "me time" or to text with a friend, or send my husband a silly snapchat saying hi. So if I don't text back right away - it's ok. Don't worry. I will look forward to texting you back in designated times. This world is so instant. And I don't want to be conformed to the world any longer.
"Do not be conformed to this world, be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
It's going to take some time to break the habit. It didn't happen over night. I got my first cell phone when I was 15, half of my life now. And honestly, I don't remember the days of "simpler times". My family loves technology and our gadgets that come along with it. But I refuse to keep going and let the gadgets be more important than people.
I am thankful that God is putting this on my heart now. It's never to late to change a bad habit or to learn something new. My children are 5, 3, and 4 months and if I make this switch now maybe it's not too late to change that image they have of their momma. One step at a time. One "no" to my phone and one "yes" to them at a time.
I believe my HOME is my MISSION FIELD and no phones are needed there... (Come back tomorrow to see what I mean when I say "mission field".)
Whoa - all of this and I haven't even read, Hands Free Mama yet. I can't imagine what that is going to do to my life. But I know I am looking forward to it. (You can pick up a copy of that book on Kindle for $1.99 right now!)